Monday, May 11, 2009

Number 393 - Butthole Surfers


Number 393

Butthole Surfers

"Pepper"

(1996)
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392 .........Genre: Alt Rock.......... 394
First a tan .... then surfing
There have been many revolutionary songs throughout the decades of Rock. Songs which have had a different sound outside of the normal contemporary time period from which they belong. For example..... In 1954, Bill Haley's "Rock Around The Clock". Also in 1954, Elvis released "That's Alright Mama" [and music changes again]. In 1968, Beatles recorded "Revolution" [classic example]. Also, in 1968, Jimi Hendrix performs live "The Star Spangled Banner". In 1977, Bee Gees release "Saturday Night Fever", but then again in 1977, Sex Pistols release "God Save The Queen" [I don't know about you, but i am seeing a pattern emerge].
Moving along in time, 1980, The Cure record "Forest" but also [once again] music changes that year, 1980, when Michael Jackson releases "Don't Stop Till You Get Enough". And lastly, in 1996 Beck's ground breaking hit with "Devils Haircut" which coincidentally Butthole Surfers release their biggest hit .... "Pepper" in, [yup], you guessed it .... 1996. cut to twilight zone music please
I want pepper on my steak dood
On Electriclarryland, their second major-label album, the Butthole Surfers continue the streamlined direction they began with Independent Worm Saloon, which basically means it's a loud guitar rock album. Even though there's potential for the record to become unnecessarily generic, it's to the Buttholes' credit that they still have the desire to throw enough bizarre wrenches into the machinery to keep most of their diehard audience satiated. Certainly, Electriclarryland will sound way too tame for fans of Locust Abortion Technican and Hairway to Steven, and they're right, to a certain extent. For listeners accustomed to their unhinged, perverse '80s recordings, there is nothing on this guitar-heavy record to please them.
even i'm afraid to ask, but ... wtf?
But Electriclarryland is a logical maturation for the band. It's odd to think of the Buttholes maturing, but that is the case with this album. They have a couple of jangly pop numbers that appear to be played relatively straight and the heavier numbers have a piledriving inevitability that make them memorable. In short, Electriclarryland rocks and it rocks hard, with enough energy for bands half of the Buttholes' age. And underneath the seemingly normal surface, the Buttholes have thrown in enough jokes and have twisted around enough clichés to prove that the band may mature, but they'll never really grow up. ~ [Stephen Thomas Erlewine, All Music Guide]
So, Ah, .... What does the song mean? [be afraid]
O.K ... this is distubing
"Pepper" opens with a riff composed on an electric bass being played with a bow. The song shifts from rap-like verses to sung choruses. The lyrics of the verses list ten characters and describes how each either dies or escapes a brush with death. Each incident, whether brought about by idiotic recklessness or meaningless bad luck, finds the victim romanced or invigorated by facing death.
The lyrics of the chorus mention vivid sense memories of close physical human contact, but center on moments painful of self-consciousness when one looks back and realizes that one's self-image at the time was not being shared
.
The relationship between the lyrics and title is not made clear, nor is the exact connection between the different types of piqued awareness presented in the different sections. The song also contains a section played in reverse. The reversed words are the first and last sentences of the chorus: "I don't mind the sun sometimes the images it shows, you never know just how you look through other peoples eyes." ~ [Source: Wikipedia]
For Elvis Presley see Number 443, #501 & #840
For Beatles see Number 489, #587, #894 & #947
For Jimi Hendrix see Number 718
For Bee Gees see Number 526 & [with Celine Dion] #910
For Sex Pistols see Number 434 & #500
For the Cure see Number 395 & #881
For Michael Jackson see Number 580 & #621
What does the Mauling Groan think about the Butts?
What a difference a hit single makes. The veteran scourge of U.S. underground rock, the Butthole Surfers, are now heavy-rotation dudes, thanks to "Pepper," which, in all honesty, is one of the lesser entries – too much Beck (a la "Loser"), not enough brown-acid mischief – on Electriclarryland. OK, Larryland itself is no Locust Abortion Technician or Hairway to Steven; the gonzoid locomotion of today's Buttholes is more streamlined and conventionally metallic, except for strategic diversions like guitarist Paul Leary's wah-wah outbursts in "The Lord Is a Monkey." But underneath the overheated-amp noise and megaphone-vocal gargling of the bad old days, the Butthole Surfers were basically a hot Texas-boogie band with a primitivist lead singer. In that sense, Electriclarryland is squarely in the tradition.
Yes, I'm impressed that Chris O'Connor – who is Primitive Radio Gods – made his album for about $1,000, and that his thrift and determination paid off with the hit "Standing Outside a Broken Phone Booth With Money in My Hand." But the hook and most of the heat on that single came from an old B.B. King record ("How Blue Can You Get"), and the shut-in, one-man-band feel of Rocket wears perilously thin over the other nine songs, especially when the didactic wallop of O'Connor's lyrics busts through. "My shit's clean like a washing machine/I'm alive/It's a fact you can't attack, and now/I'm taking over," he declares in "Chain Reaction." Yo, cool don't advertise. ~ [Soruce: Rolling Stone - RS 750] [not really sure why RS went off in a tangent with Primitive Radio Gods, anyone? anyone?]
Rolling Stone magazine deemed their '393rd Song of all Time' was "Summer in the City" by Lovin' Spoonful. Lovin' Spoonful has not appeared in The Definitive 1000 of All Time.
Other songs with reference to Butthole Surfers #506, #845
Rolling Stone Top 500 Songs ranked this song at Number (Butthole?) and the Album ranked at (BUTTHOLE?)
This song has a Definitive 1000 rating of 78.8 out of 108
Search Artist here:1-2-3-A-B-C-D-E-F-G-H-I-J-K-L-M-N-O-P-Q-R-S-T-U-V-W-X-Y-Z

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